Job Maseko served with the Allies against the Nazis in North Africa but earned less than white troops who racially abused him and he was denied the Victoria Cross medal – something campaigners today slam as an ‘injustice’
The former miner had volunteered for the Native Military Corps in the 2nd South African Division. Job was captured and tortured by German and Italian troops after Tobruk fell to the Germans in June 1942. As a POW he was later detailed to offload ships laden with military hardware. He created a bomb using a condensed milk tin, cordite and a long fuse. It is believed the ship sank quickly after the device was placed deep in the hold.
Bill Gillespie, of Milverton, Somerset, who is campaigning for Job’s decoration, told the Mirror “He lit the fuse and ran to join his friends on the dock. A few hours later there was an almighty explosion. It is anyone’s guess but this small act by a very brave man could have assisted in the decisive Allied victory by Montgomery’s troops three months later.” But dogs it seems are no problem: ‘Hero dog who ran into enemy gunfire to save Brit troops awarded ‘animal Victoria Cross’ Mirror No institutionalised racism in the British establishment then. Let’s see the Labour Party leadership put its name to the campaign to give Job Maseko the posthumous award he deserves.